This weekend marked the 15th annual International Female Ride Day (IFRD)—a day that has been shining a light on women motorcyclists, and inspiring up and coming riders, for the last 14 years. Since its inception, the IFRD has sparked a significant increase in female ridership, and we truly believe that this event’s positive momentum is necessary to keep advancing the future of motorcycling.
Thousands of female riders in over 120 countries united for a mass ride, to create awareness for women in the motorcycling industry. Biker’s Warehouse, along with many other dealers and importers, joined this initiative by hosting the Johannesburg leg of the event.
Our good friends Motul SA always seems to be at the forefront of such events that encourage a new generation of lady bikers. They have a planned 2021 Learn to Ride Day coming up soon, which is an event specifically for ladies. We will keep you posted on this, as and when the dates are announced.
In the initial planning, Biker’s Warehouse expected to host just over 150 women riders—but on the day they were looking at close to double that. This just indicates how many female riders there are out there, and how valuable events like these are.
The riders had four meeting spots to choose from on the day, as well as selected riding groups. They could start their ride from Biker’s Warehouse, Triumph Motorcycles South Africa, ROC Harley-Davidson/Fast KTM or Fire It Up.
From these locations they would ride as a band of sisters, visiting each dealer taking part, before returning from the various rides for a High Tea at Biker’s Warehouse. With great live entertainment, and support from nearly the whole motorcycle industry, it was an event not to be missed.
As many riders took to the roads most travelled, a select group of 53 dirt enthusiasts and adventurers decided to get their rides dirty. Morag Campbell from OpenRider, had two awesome routes planned for her crusty adventure ladies, the easier Jalapeno ride and the more technical Habanero ride.
From what Morag explained to me, certain section of the ride turned into a gnarly mudfest. From my experience of riding offroad, the most memorable days usually end with the most dirtiest gear. The riders were divided into five groups with plenty of support at hand, with a lead rider and sweep riders per group, an overall co-ordinating medic and supportive Think Bike Marshalls. At the end of the day, all 53 riders had a blast on these two routes, returning with muddy smiles, muddy bikes (the Powasol free wash-and-go had their work cut out for them) and life long memories.
It’s no secret that our industry has a way to go when it comes to being a safe and inclusive space for women on motorcycles. But visiting different motorcycle dealers on our group rides gave me hope. I found shops that are dedicated to changing for the better, and leaving outdated stereotypes of where women fit in the motorcycling industry behind.
Accessories and gear sections are starting to look more balanced for both sexes, and male sales staff are engaging more with like-minded women that share the same passion: bikes!
After our group rides, we pulled into an action-packed Biker’s Warehouse, where good chow, great music, stunning bikes and a High Tea was prepared for the women.
IFRD is all about having fun, empowerment, and getting more women outside to ride. As a male, consider bringing your daughter along next time, or a female friend that hasn’t been introduced to motorcycling yet… and get their wheels turning.